End of the Year – Top 10 Mixtapes of 2009

Posted on December 30, 2009 by

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As stated earlier, there were hundreds and hundreds of mixtapes this year, not to mention hundreds are definitely worth listening to.  Even still, we have narrowed it down to our 10 favorite of the year but for any we missed, make sure we hear about it! Hit the jump for the list, description and download links.

10.Emilio Rojas – The Natural

Having already blessed us with Recession Proof, Emilio Rojas does not disappoint on his highly anticipated mixtape, The Natural. With very few features, you get to hear a lot of Emilio and I couldn’t be happier.  Just an overall great project.

Favorite Track: I Want it All

The Natural – DOWNLO@D

9.Ya Boy – Kush 2009

The Bay Area Bully goes in over all types of old school Dr. Dre beats.  It is amazing that this guy is still unsigned/not all over everybody’s radar.  He doesn’t even need a chorus, as heard on my favorite track, bringing punchline after punchline setting himself apart with fantastic timing and pace.  This tape will make you wish he was rapping Death Row in the early 90s.

Favorite Track: 100 Bars

Kush 2009 – DOWNLO@D

8.Trav Williams – IllTravis

This is easily the dopest concept for a mixtape this year.  Kevin Nottingham and Trav Williams had a contest where each week, the original samples from an Illmatic track were given out and any DJ who wanted to participate could submit their take with a brand new beat.  After 10 weeks, they had a full mixtape for Trav to rap over.  To use Trav’s own words, he isn’t trying to “one up” or “recreate” Illmatic, this is just a sick listen overall.  Included are the 10 winners plus 7 extra beats he liked well enough to rap over.

Favorite Track: Dedicated

IllTravis – DOWNLO@D

7.Donnis – Diary of an ATL Brave

Please read my full review.

Diary of an ATL Brave  - DOWNLO@D

6.TiRon – Ketchup

Mark my words: the West Coast is on the rise! Thanks in part to TiRon and his very impressive mixtape.  With a laid back sound, the tape is very easy to listen to and flows from one song to the next.  This is just the beginning though, please do not forget this guy’s name!

Favorite Track: Shine On

Ketchup – DOWNLO@D

5.Lupe Fiasco – Enemy of the State

Although this mixtape is only about 30 minutes and consists of 11 tracks, we are going to give Lupe Fiasco a pass because, frankly, that is all it needed.  Lupe Fiasco torches hot beats new and old, possibly as a reaction to being left off MTV’s list, possibly just because he hadn’t put anything out in a while.  Either way, I am fine with it, and we are all lucky he did.  Advice for the future: try not to make him mad!

Favorite Track: All the Way Turnt Up Freestyle

Enemy of the State – DOWNLO@D

4.Curren$y & Wiz Khalifa – How Fly

The Jets and the Taylor Gang team up to talk about money, girls and weed. A smooth sound with icy rhymes that you can listen to as you cruise the city, “chill” with friends or get a party started.

Favorite Track: The Check Point

How Fly – DOWNLO@D

3.J. Cole – The Warm Up

J. Cole’s latest mixtape shows his constant improvement with clever lyrics and a much better flow.  His wordplay and punch lines improve with each project that he puts out or is featured on.  In many years, when people look back on J. Cole’s career, this will be the thing that really put him on the map!

Favorite track: “Lights Please”

The Warm Up – DOWNLO@D

2.Wale – Back to the Feature

Please read my full review.

Back to the Feature – DOWNLO@D

1.Joell Ortiz – Covers the Classics

Joell displays one of the reasons he had a great year with the hottest tape of the year.  Dope concept with Joell ripping all types of old school beats to shreds. Goes over a wide variety of topics giving us insight into his childhood and how he spends his money now-a-days, all the while paying homage to some of his favorite rappers and producers.

Favorite Track: “Renee’s Revenge”

Covers the Classics – DOWNLO@D

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